From the Memoir of the Marshal of Bassompierre (François de Bassompierre)
In the Duchy of Lorraine, as it belonged to Germany for a long time, the last count of Orgewiler ruled the region between Nanzig and Luenstadt (Luneville). He didn’t have a son and hence on his death bed, he distributed his province among his three daughters and sons-in-law. The eldest daughter had married Simons von Bestein, the middle Master von Crouy and the youngest a German count from Rhein. Apart from the landed property, he gave three special gifts to his heirs: the oldest daughter a measuring spoon, the middle one a drinking cup and the third one a jewel ring. While presenting those, he also uttered a warning that they and their descendants should carefully preserve these pieces to keep their homes blissful forever.
The marshal von Bassompierre (Bassenstein), great-grandson of Simons, accounts the story – how the count of Orgewiler himself received the gift: the count was married, but still had a secret love affair with an exquisitely beautiful woman. The lady used to come to him in his summer house located in the middle of the estate’s garden every Monday. The secret meeting arrangement was long hidden from his wife. Before leaving for the summer home every Monday, he explained her that he would go to the woods at night to fulfill his moral obligation of royalty.
However after a couple of years, the countess became suspicious and tried to find out the truth. One early summer morning she crept behind him, and entered the summer home. There she saw her husband sleeping in the arms of a stunningly beautiful woman. However, they both slept so peacefully in each other’s arms, that she did not want to wake her up; only removed her veil from her head and spread it over her tender sleeping feet.
After some time, the beautiful mistress woke up and looked for her veil. All on a sudden she burst into tears, complained miserably and lamented: “This will have to end here, my dearest, we’ll never see each other again! Now I will have to stay a hundred miles away separated from you.”
Saying this she bid good bye to the Count, but before leaving she honoured him with three previously mentioned gifts for his three daugh uttering the same warning that they should never lose the gifts.
The house of Bassenstein had to collect a fruit-wine from the town of Spinal (now Épinal) for a long time, for which they always used the measuring spoon they received from their ancestor.
François de Bassompierre (1579 – 1646) was a French courtier. His Mémoire was first published at Cologne in 1665. This of course is a significant source of 17th century European history.